ארצות הברית גדלה כמדינה כשאנחנו מתאחדים ואומרים לא לגזענות, לשנאה, ולקנאות.
Posted by Bernie Sanders on Friday, February 19, 2016
I just noticed that the Bernie Sanders campaign has distributed scores of campaign graphic posters in multiple languages which tout his credentials for promoting progressive values. The Hebrew slogan which the campaign added is:
“America grows as a nation when we are united and say No to racism, to hate, and extremism.”
Too bad Bernie doesn’t uphold those values when it comes to Israel-Palestine! Bernie has hardly any platform on the issue. He’s essentially a mealy-mouthed liberal Zionist. In fact, if he held the same views on the wide array of domestic U.S. issues that he holds on I-P, he’d laugh himself out of the room. He’s Hillary waving an Israeli-Palestine flag. Big deal.
There is no difference between Bernie and Hillary on Israel-Palestine. Except perhaps that Bernie wouldn’t go to war for Israel and Hillary clearly would. That’s not a bad start for a platform, but it shouldn’t be the last word. And for Bernie it pretty much is.
He supports a two-state solution, when that train left the station for many of his progressive supporters a long time ago. One day long ago in the past Bernie supported cutting U.S. military aid to Israel. But that’s long gone.
Look, I support Bernie. But not because of Israel-Palestine, in spite of it. If anyone wants a primer of reasons not to support him because of his record on the subject read Steven Salaita’s Salon post.
But unlike Salaita, I’m not voting based on a single issue. (And I understand why any Palestinian might not vote against him based on this issue). I’m voting based on a range of issues. And Bernie is best on many of them.
But he’s not good on Israel-Palestine. In fact, for a progressive he’s terrible. There are a lot of reasons for his lackluster views. Some of them persuasive, many not.
But the main point is that if you’re running his campaign, don’t pretend Bernie’s something he’s not. He’s simply not progressive on Israel-Palestine. So don’t pretend he is. It makes a fool out of him. And Bernie’s no fool. Or at least he shouldn’t be.
If you want to say Bernie’s good on these values in domestic terms, I’m all for it. But when has Bernie ever made a big deal out of opposing Israeli Jewish racism, extremism or hate? Sure he talks a good game. Settlers-bad. Democracy-good. That and a few bucks’ll buy you a cup of coffee! But not much more than that.
Jack Cohen says
I was wondering about the definition of ‘progressive Zionist’. If Zionism is so bad that even liberal zionists are horrible, is there anyway of fixing it?
Can progressive-fascists fix fascism? Can progressive-nazis fix nazism?
I understand ‘progressive-….’ when one accepts the principles but believe some modifications are needed. But if the foundations are completely flawed, how can progressiveness fix that?
Deïr Yassin says
There’s a poster in Arabic too; the comments are interesting , apart from pointing out the poor google translation, many are commenting on Sanders’ vision about (or rather lack of vision) Israel-Palestine
I think Bernie cares more about the American people than he does about Israel, which marks him as a fine candidate for the Presidency.
American’s need to focus on America, not Israel.
Kyle Renner says
” I think Bernie cares more about the American people than he does about Israel, which marks him as a fine candidate for the Presidency.”
It’s really hilarious to see this kind of statement coming from you– the quintessential “Israel firster” when it comes to American politics.
From what I’ve seen, anyways.
If Bernie said “we’re not giving Israel any more money” and essentially cut that state off as well as publically denouncing Israeli policy towards the Palestinians and Lebanese– that’d be a good thing for sure.
That’s not what you’d want in a president, of course.
” American’s need to focus on America, not Israel.”
Again, it’s really hilarious considering that you only say as much in the sense of the whingy “stop bullying Israel!” that we see from Israel and the pro-Israel camp whenever any American on any level criticises Israel in any way.
You want Americans to give Israel even more of a carte blanche to do what it likes, to ignore its treatment of the Palestinians.
If Israel were so foolish enough to try and start another war in Lebanon or to attack the Iranians, you’d be howling for massive American support, up to and including going to war for the so-called “Jewish state”.
First of all, I’m a dual citizen. I believe every country should act in it’s own enlightened self interest.
Second, whatever country you’re from ,you’ve apparently been caught up in the I/P vortex.
Third, Israel would survive if America withdrew her $3 billion a year.
America and Europe need to back out of the Middle East and leave Middle Easterners to work out their grievances, in and among themselves, and not take sides.
Richard Silverstein says
@Babar: It’s curious that every right wing hasbara-maven who has ever commented here on this subject has universally said he doesn’t want the U.S.’ $3-billion a year in aid. Of course, everyone who says that knows that there’s not a chance in hell that the U.S. will cut this aid, nor that Israel will ever refuse it. So there’s no harm in saying that you believe something you know won’t happen. However the first minute that President Bernie Sanders says he’s going to consider cutting US aid to Israel the Babar and all the other right wingers who’ve ever commented here will be flooding the comments threads with their loud protest against the reduction of USA to Israel.
They’ll call the first U.S. peesisent to cut aid an anti-Semite, anti-Israel scumbag. That’s the hypocrisy of their position.
If America & Europe “backed out of the ME” as Babar suggests and cut all military aid, Israel would either cease to exist or become a unitary Jewish -Palestinian state within 5 yrs. Imagine Israel unable to invade Lebanon or Gaza because we cut off all the bunker busters, cluster bombs, Apache helicopters & F 16s.
Once the Arab world saw Israel was an emperor with no F-16s, it would only be a matter of time.
Richard, you need to actually read what I’ve said.
America AND Europe need to back out of the Middle East and not take sides.
This means no carte blanche for Israel and no pie in the sky promises to the Palestinians that ‘Camelot’ and boundless dignity come with Statehood.
BTW, who receives more EU aid then the Palestinians? Not Israel.
America’s enlightened self interest includes selling, but not giving away, arms.
I didn’t say I didn’t want aid. It is in Israel’s enlightened self interest to accept aid, but that doesn’t mean it requires that same aid to exist. It doesn’t.
BTW. The Arab world is collapsing and hasn’t never posed less of a threat to Israel.
Iran and Iran-Hezbollah are Israel’s main threat.
Deïr Yassin says
Not to foget that the US backing out of Middle Eastern affairs would imply stopping the automatic US vetos in the UN 🙂
Kyle Renner says
You’re saying that you’re a dual citizen between America and Israel?
Sorry. I think that makes you even less in a position to say “focus on America, not Israel” when it comes to any American politician who is more critical of that state, or otherwise not so slavishly devoted to covering Israel’s ass in the context of Palestine and sometimes Lebanon.
” I believe every country should act in it’s own enlightened self interest.”
But it’s fairly clear that you’re strictly referring to the so-called “Jewish state”. I don’t see you supporting the Palestinian National Security forces or the PA government if they decided that it was in the best interests of their people to have the considerable military and police forces at their disposal start to engage the IDF and the Border Police and the “settlers” in combat in response to the Israeli killing and maiming of Palestinians.
” Second, whatever country you’re from ,you’ve apparently been caught up in the I/P vortex.”
This is a site that is primarily about that situation. As a result, my comments here are related to that situation, as opposed to other things that don’t have to do with it.
” Third, Israel would survive if America withdrew her $3 billion a year.”
Can you show me where I said that the Israeli state would collapse if deprived of American aid?
I said that the Knesset and probably the worst segments of Israeli Jewish society and the “diaspora” in relation to the Israel-Palestine conflict would whine and weep and howl about it.
” America and Europe need to back out of the Middle East and leave Middle Easterners to work out their grievances, in and among themselves, and not take sides.”
And again you don’t really see the irony in your sort of commentator on this issue advocating such a thing. You appear to be a hasbara guy through and through so it’s very hard to believe that you actually believe what you just said.
Dieter Heymann says
Our citizenship laws do not recognize dual citizenship but the Federal government does not forbid you to have multiple citizenship. Nevertheless, if you have the US citizenship and you are within the USA you are obliged to be 100% loyal to the USA. If you are in the other country that government expects you to be 100% loyal to that state. That is weird to say the least. What if you are in that other country if and when it declares war on the USA or commits an act of war on the USA, will you be called into the armed forces of that other state and if so, will you go? Or immediately volunteer?
Not likely? That is not the fundamental issue. In a world of nation states you cannot be loyal to two masters and expect that you will never run into trouble.
Walter Ballin says
What about this interview that Bernie Sanders had with Ezra Klein, in which he said that as president that that he will have a more even-handed policy on Israel-Palestine? He said that there, but he has’t been emphatic on it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dFmWwRWYD54&feature=youtu.be
Richard Silverstein says
@ Walter: Thanks for pointing that out. I have no doubt that a Bernie I-P policy would be better than your average Democratic president. But better by how much? And would it do any good to have a slighytly better than average U.S. I-P policy? Would it permit any breakthroughs on the ground in the Middle East? I doubt it. What’s needed is something new, better, completely different.
Walter Ballin says
Thank you Richard, and I agree with you. Maybe more and more people wanting this, particularly so with the millennials as the majority of them don’t have the the same attachment to Israel as many of their older counterparts, Bernie will change the policy. Since Bernie said that he will have a more even-handed policy, we’ll have to remind him of this if he gets elected. One can only hope.
Dieter Heymann says
Mr. Sanders is not the first seeker of the US Presidency nor will he be he first President who has promised a “more evenhanded policy” towards Israel and Palestine. I vaguely remember that G.W. Bush promised that too. And Reagan?
Here is my reasoning why that is a completely empty if not ridiculous policy. Israel has modern armed forces. The Palestinians do not have such a force.
RE: “Mr. Sanders is not the first seeker of the US Presidency nor will he be he first President who has promised a ‘more evenhanded policy’ towards Israel and Palestine. I vaguely remember that G.W. Bush promised that too.” ~ Dieter Heymann
FROM MY EXTENSIVE ARCHIVES: “Bush and Israel: Unlike his father”, By Sheryl Gay Stolberg, NYT International Herald Tribune, 2006
ENTIRE ARTICLE – http://www.nytimes.com/2006/08/02/world/americas/02iht-bush.2363483.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
Shoded Yam says
IMHO, Most of the people who are carrying on about this are from the octogenarian Jewish American establishment in their dotage.. Ironically, for them, Sanders’ is not “the right kind of Jew” anyway, and most of them are supporting Hillary to the tune of millions of dollars. The majority of Jewish Americans have come to the conclusion that any further examination of their own belly buttons will only produce ever diminishing returns. Newsflash. Sanders’ isn’t running to be the Mayor of Chelm. He’s running to be President of the United States. The fact that the establishment is surprised that he would identify as an American first, a Jew second, and distance himself from the Israelis and their chronic case of melo-drama, says more about them then it does about the rest of us.
That said, Sanders has profound disagreements with the current regime over the settlement issue, the two-state solution, and I would imagine over certain anti-democratic iniatives that have become popular as of late in Israel, and does not like Netanyahu personally. I see Sanders support of Israel being of a somewhat more tacit and qualified nature. That is to say that support for Israel’s defense will continue as always. However I imagine diplomatically a Sanders administration is going to be isolationist and is largely going to leave the Israelis to themselves.
For the Israelis that’s their best case scenario. The worst case scenario as far as the Israelis are concerned, will be a UN resolution condemning the settlements and Sanders, under pressure from his constituency, and because of his Judaism and background, he might feel that he has the moral credibility to do so, (something that has eluded those that came before him), and directs the American Ambassador to abstain.
italian expat says
Regardless of what Bernie’s thoughts and plans are re: the I/P issue, I think it’s very wise of him to not bring up the subject. Does anyone really think it would help his campaign if he came right out and said that, as president, he would stop all financial aid to Israel unless she agrees to a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as capital ? Right – and lose all the Jewish – and Jewish controlled – votes. Yeah, even the so-called ‘liberal Zionists’ – there’s no such thing.
And, quite frankly, in my opinion this issue should have no place in an American presidential election. Or should we start voting according to a candidate’s views about Russia/Ukraine, China/Taiwan, India/Kashmir, etc. But no, only the Jewish state is relevant when it comes to judging a candidate’s qualifications for president – or any political office, for that matter.
THAT is an issue that should get a good dose of public attention.
“And, quite frankly, in my opinion this issue should have no place in an American presidential election.
Dieter Heymann says
Quote: “He’s essentially a mealy-mouthed liberal Zionist”. What is even worse: he probably does not know how to plant a tree, milk a cow, or harvest oranges. Ergo he is a mealy-mouthed, useless, liberal Zionist.
Pray tell, what do planting trees, milking cows and/or harvesting oranges have to do with the job of president? I do recall G.W. Bush ostensibly clearing brush (at least for the cameras) on his ranchette at Crawford. And, of course, Reagan was famous for splitting wood for the cameras at Rancho del Cielo. Also, a woman was recently elected to the Congress apparently due in large measure to her campaign ad wherein she touted her experience castrating hogs. But for the life of me, I just don’t see these skills (with the possible exception of hog castration) as particularly useful in performing the job of U.S. President.
That reminds me that I knew an attorney who was elected to Congress in the early 80s who had been a prosecutor, but when he got up to Congress his obligatory Washington-based “image consultant” suggested that he develop an image as a “runner” (something he had rarely indulged in as evidenced by his expanding midriff) . Yuppies were really into running back then, so the idea of a congressman who was a ‘runner’ like them (or like they hoped to eventually be, perhaps next year) was expected to be worth 5 percentage points or more in his reelection (possibly a lot more if the opponent was somewhat in the mold of Chris Christie). Not to mention that everyone assumed runners were really disciplined. They were also assumed to shower regularly. So, the voters would naturally assume ‘the runner’ congressman must also be really dilligent in performing his Congressional duties. Anyway, the runner image really paid fat dividends a few years later when ‘the runner’ congressman got a chance to go on a morning trot with President Reagan. Naturally, this included having a number of nice, official, commemorative photographs taken that were used as the centerpiece of the congressman’s campaign brochures from then on (until the Iran–Contra scandal dulled Reagan’s luster).
As to Bernie Sanders being “mealie-mouthed”, even assuming his reluctance to dwell on foreign policy issues, he is still by far the least mealie-mouthed of the candidates with the possible exception of Donald Trump (who says many things that I have serious problems with). The backdrop in front of which Marco Rubio often has his photo taken has the following political catchphrases repeated over and over: NEW AMERICAN CENTURY ~ RENEWED AMERICAN VALUES ~ NEW AMERICAN JOBS ~ NEW AMERICAN LEADERSHIP ~ NEW AMERICAN SECURITY ~ RENEWED AMERICAN STRENGTH
I’ve already voted for Sanders, but if it comes down to Clinton and Trump, I might very reluctantly have to vote for Trump (quite possibly while vomiting a little into my mouth), because I think it is possible that he has, at least, a smidgen of integrity. Rightly, wrongly or somewhere in between, I am convinced Hillary Clinton (pretty much like her husband) is completely lacking in integrity [which is why Wall Street adores her, and why I doubt she will do the few things she has promised to do that will benefit the middle and/or lower classes (at least, the middle and/or lower classes here in the U.S.). It is much more likely she might do things to somewhat benefit middle and/or lower classes in Bangladesh, Thailand, Vietnam, etc., but I suspect even then it would be the local oligarchs, plutocrats, dictators, and the largely American multi-national corporations and their associated global oligarchs who would by far benefit the most.
As to Sanders being a “liberal Zionist”, it’s pretty much a moot issue. Benjamin Netanyahu, Elliott Abrams, Irving Moskowitz, Sheldon Adelson and the Revisionist Zionists have won. Game over. Even Tom Friedman recently admitted that the two-state option is toast. There are simply too many ‘facts on the ground’ to make the two-state option feasable.
Nice poster, but the ‘Bernie 2016’ should be considerably larger!
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